New album “House of Noise” by those irrepressible Lancastrian bombo-propulsive rockers MASSIVE WAGONS (released 17th July, via Earache) has already charted as a top ten album even as the lads plan a UK TOUR for March 2021.
No song could be more germane and responsive than the efficacious opening track “In It Together” with it’s Slade/Wildhearts style, it’s Ta-La-La’s, it’s wide Whoas, it’s “I Gotta Feeling” throb and lines about it “feelin’ like home.” Actually, it’s likely to be a love song rather than a lockdown spawned groover but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s a clatterbox stomper and just as cheerfully timeless as Clive Dunn performing a monologue by Alan Bennett in the back of Ford Anglia on a day trip to Morecambe. In other words, a generous portion of national psyche.
The axle greased “Bangin in Your Stereo” has a wonderful riff. It’s the best nod to Lea and Holder’s songbook you can possibly conceive and the video (you have to see it if you’re a Lego fan) is hilarious. It’s also percussively simple and, to be honest, a little shouty, so this number will be the biggest hand-clap chant on the radio (and at a concert, should we ever get to attend one.) It’s a bit like Bootyard Bandits but with an obvious Green Day whomp… but derivative or not, it’s still a hoot.
“The Curry Song” is basically a blistering list of rapid-fire fast-food allusions that wouldn’t have been out-of-place performed on stage at a working men’s club by Stan Boardman with Shep’s banjo boys providing accompaniment. And if you don’t know what any of that means, this song’s not for you. But if you’ve been known to pop into your local CIU, spend your summer holidays at Pontin’s and think Jimmy Cricket is the best funnyman on telly, this is for you. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” it ain’t — but nevertheless, it’s a craic.
Title track “House of Noise” (video shared below) has knife-like guitars, perceptive lyrics (we all hate our neighbors now … our sociable sense of kind sympathy disappeared after the last clap for carers came and went) so all we have to give is a sour sense of “smashing [our] faces into another tomorrow...”
This is bittersweet as warm mango curry and sharp as a hatpin. A chunk of nuanced glam-tinged rock as humorous & heartfelt as “When The Lights Are Out” (from The Dummies). Haha! So, yeah, stomp your hands, and clap your feet to the most relentlessly English-sounding rock album of 2020.
I’d call it English plague-rock. Well, it’s infectious enough.
Words: @neilmach 2020 ©
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